Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back David Johnson have yet to undergo physicals that would complete the blockbuster trade made between the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans when the 2020 league year began almost three weeks ago.
However, the NFL world is still reverberating with reaction to the deal, and how the Cardinals were able to dump Johnson’s contract in Houston’s lap while also giving up just a second-round pick (40th overall) this year and a 2021 fourth-rounder in the transaction.
So, it was fitting that Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien made his first comments about trading Hopkins during a town-hall teleconference with season-ticket holders this past Friday.
“It was in the best interest of our team," O'Brien said. "DeAndre Hopkins was a great football player here. He made so many plays for us. We love DeAndre Hopkins. But he had three years left on his deal and he wanted a raise. And we weren't going to be able to go in that direction. We felt like we had a great offer from Arizona that involved picks. That involved an excellent three-down running back who is hungry and humble and just can't wait to get started. David Johnson is going to be a great addition to our football team.
"There's a lot of things that go into trades. Lot of thoughts that go in. How much are you going to take on contractually? How much does it take to buy that second-round pick, that No. 40 pick? What type of player are you bringing in? What type of player are you losing and what is in the best interest of the team?"
There have been other instances where O’Brien’s judgment has been second-guessed, but he appears impervious to it.
“There has always been some type of noise,” O’Brien said. “Again, I would just reiterate that we are not trying to win in March. I would just hope our season-ticket holders have seen that we’ve won four out of six division championships here. We know how to win.”
Cynics might note that two of the division titles were achieved with 9-7 records and in those four playoffs seasons, the Texans are 1-4 in postseason games.
Still, he concluded, “Any decision that’s made is made with the team in mind. Capital T, Capital E, Capital A, Capital M in mind.”
Texans fans are surely happy that O’Brien can spell.
Cardinals fans would likely respond with Capital S. T. E. A. L.